Family claims couple trashed home, let animals die

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – A Georgia couple says they were trying to help others in need, but their good deed turned into a nightmare.

Catie Bryant says her husband took a job in South Carolina, but they wanted to keep their home in Georgia.

They told WGCL that they interviewed several people who could live in their house for free as long as they paid the utilities and looked after their pets.

They chose Matthew and Jacquelynn Egerton, who described themselves as animal lovers, and said they needed a place to stay with their two children.

Bryant says they had five cats that were fixed and lived outdoors.

When she came to visit in August, she found 16 cats, nine of which were dead, inside the house without food, water or air conditioning.

The house was also infested with fleas.

The Egerton’s attorney, Blake Poole, sent a statement to WGCL, claiming that the animals were taken care of in the Egerton’s care and that they had moved to stay with family nearby. Poole claims that Jacquelynn was planning to come back and clean up the mess.

The couple has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.

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